Logo for PRIME service - Physical activity, Resilience training, Improving wellbeing, Making healthy choices, Eating well

Our PRIME Prehabilitation programme supports patients in the lead up to major oncology surgery. We are a therapy led service comprising of Physiotherapists, an Occupational Therapist and a Dietitian. Our focus is to help patients prepare physically and emotionally for surgery, through supervised exercise classes and educational sessions, to support preparation and subsequent recovery.

The programme will:

  • Provide you with information and guidance.
  • Prepare you physically and emotionally before your surgery.
  • Promote healthy lifestyle and improved resilience.

Currently our service is aimed at patients having oesophageal, pancreatic, bladder, rectal and ovarian cancer surgery.

What does the programme involve?

A Physiotherapist will complete your initial assessment where you will be asked to complete some simple exercise tests to establish your current level of fitness. They will create a home exercise programme and provide you with an information pack with relevant support services.

We offer two exercise classes a week; one in the Physiotherapy gym at Royal Surrey Hospital and one virtually online. These are group classes run by the Physiotherapist who will set you a programme and can guide you through the exercises and how to use equipment.

We offer one virtual wellbeing session per week led by the Occupational Therapist. These sessions cover a range of topics including managing sleep difficulties, fatigue, mood, healthy eating and a session led by our Anaesthetist.

We also offer 1:1 sessions and telephone advice and support. We welcome family members and supporters to all of our sessions.

Before your surgery the Physiotherapist will meet with you again for a final assessment where you will repeat the exercise tests. They will provide you with more information about what to expect after the surgery and things you can do to help your recovery.

Who are we?

The Prehabilitation Team includes Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Dietitians who can give you advice and information in preparation for your surgery.

Our Physiotherapist completes an initial assessment with you, creates a home exercise programme and offers advice and guidance on exercise and physical activity. They will also help inform you about what to expect after your operation so that you are better prepared. This will include teaching you breathing exercises to do after your operation to help prevent chest infections.

Our Occupational Therapist offers support and advice on how to prepare for surgery and manage with the impact of diagnosis and treatment from a practical and psychological perspective. They will look at potential difficulties you may have with sleep, fatigue, mood or managing daily activities.

Our Dietitian is able to provide expert advice on the diet needed to help optimise your nutritional health prior to surgery. They can help you if you are experiencing specific dietary concerns as a result of cancer treatment such as reduced appetite or taste changes. They can also provide you and your families/carers with practical information on foods to choose, portion sizes and meal patterns.


Your Consultant or Nurse Specialist will discuss Prehabilitation with you and refer you to the team if appropriate. Once we receive your referral we will contact you to arrange an initial appointment. 

Useful information

The Fountain Centre located within the Cancer Centre at Royal Surrey Hospital offers holistic and emotional support, information and signposting for patients and their families. 

You may also find useful support in the Physical Activity and Cancer Macmillan booklet.